Huiqui’s header hands Toros a road loss
RGVFC wants every match to be played at their methodical pace. They want to hold possession, work the ball around, and find the right attacking player. Las Vegas Lights FC don’t allow that on their home pitch, playing a frantic, pressure based system. Unfortunately for the Toros, the match went the hosts way.
Despite the visitors holding a large chunk of possession, the Lights were able to make it uncomfortable all night. The clubs exchanged attacks early, with Omar Salgado and Aldo Quintanilla providing the danger for their respective sides. One of the biggest moments of the match came right before the halftime whistle. Todd Wharton looping in a perfect free kick to the back post where a diving Wilmer Cabrera Jr. met the ball. At point blank range, his header was saved by USL Team of the Week goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino.
The second half would see each side make their push, but chances went by the wayside. Substitutes Chuy Enriquez and Carlos Small both had quality looks kept out by Ferrino. Then, the Lights stole the match in the 82nd minute. Omar Salgado, off a short corner, found a leaping Joel Huiqui towards the far post. The veteran center back headed home the ball for the lone goal of the match.
Las Vegas is a remarkably difficult place to play, due to the heat and crowd, but primarily because of the small pitch. The Lights thrive in chaos and they took their fourth straight win at home.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Matias Zaldivar: In a match where the defensive midfield didn’t control the action, Zaldivar was the one pulling the strings for RGVFC. He had 76 touches and fired off 51 passes.
Wilmer Cabrera Jr.: The teenager almost headed home a goal in first-half stoppage time. He was unafraid to battle with the more experienced, bigger defenders from Las Vegas.
Carlos Small: Still coming off the bench at this point, the powerful striker continues to show flashes of his massive potential. He nearly curled a shot inside the far post, but Ferrino dove and knocked it away.
Wilmer Cabrera Jr. explains the pace of the match vs. Las Vegas:
“The match was very high-paced and hectic at first, but then we were able to control the game and create chances. Unfortunately, we weren’t clinical enough.
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC (3-7-11)
While the Toros will be frustrated to not come away with three points, they aren’t the first team to be frustrated at Cashman Field. The players worked hard until the final whistle. They simply couldn’t find the final touch.
I enjoyed getting to catch up with some of the players and Gerson Echeverry on their trip here. There is an optimism surrounding this team and they play hard for each other and their manager. They have loads of depth and that competition forces players to push themselves each training session or they could find themselves on the bench or out of the rotation.
While the loss hurts their small playoff chances, the work ethic and fight in this team will serve them well moving forward.
The Bad Guys: Sacramento Republic FC (11-5-7)
Usually one of the top clubs in the USL’s Western Conference, this year is no different for Republic FC. They currently sit 4th out west and have had big seasons from Cameron Iwasa (10 goals, four assists) and Villyan Bijev (42 key passes, four goals).
The club is undefeated in their past five matches and they are 5-1-5 at Papa Murphy’s Park this campaign. They are coming off a 1-0 win over Fresno.
The Dirty Details
Who: RGVFC at Sacramento Republic FC
When: Saturday, 8/11, at
Where: Papa Murphy’s Park